Elementary: Wrong Side of the Road – Cliffhanger (Review)

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Elementary “Wrong Side of the Road” is, clearly, a two-parter that ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. Sherlock is arrested by the red-headed man from DIA and Kitty, who arrived with a tiny tot named Archie, learns that the murder spree she assumed was the work of the paraplegic ex con will continue without its latest victim; the ex con.

This was a splendid episode from its start to the open ended finish. The return of Kitty, who as usual is somewhat fey and more than a little eclectic, marked another chance for the duo of Holmes and Watson to become a trio again.

Kitty Winter, who has definitely moved on from being Holmes’ protege, left under somewhat of a cloud when she shoved her assailant into a vat of  acid. She has returned with news that an another old case that she and Sherlock worked on has crossed the pond to start murdering people in America.

After convincing Holmes of the validity of her claim, he, Watson and Kitty start zeroing in on their suspect, Eli Kotite. The American struck and killed a lady in England and served three years of a four year sentence. Three of the players who put the man behind bars have turned up dead.

While the official causes of death are all “natural” Kitty believes that the man in the wheelchair has hired someone to kill them all. She also believes that she and Holmes are next.

The latest victim was the barrister who prosecuted Kotite and as they question the doctor who signed off on his death certificate, the barrister’s body is dug up and burnt to a cinder.  Meanwhile, Kotite believes that he is now on the “hit-list.”

A red-headed man is a suspect, he was seen by Holmes and by the barrister’s widow, and later in the episode he turns up at Sherlock’s apartment. The ginger haired fellow turns out to be a member of the intelligence community and he places Holmes under arrest.

The chemistry between Miller and Lovibond is, as usual, spot on. Ophelia brings the same level of focus and charm to the character from before. The addition of the child and the German nanny who nearly chokes Watson to death, allows the actress even more in terms of performance. Her character is still somewhat murky and mysterious and this adds to the aura of vagueness and elusiveness she emits.

Elementary ends with the feeling that someone, either Holmes or Kitty, has stumbled into some nefarious government plot where a trio of Englishmen have been murdered, not by Kotite – who is thrown off a building – but by some international assassin. Clearly the DIA agent believes Holmes to be the killer, although in Sherlock’s mind the agent is the villain.

Miller and Lucy Liu continue to spark well of one another, although the exchanges between Liu, Miller and Lovibond are also spot on. The whole “no one needs pizza and pasta” was amusing and so Holmes.

Elementary airs Sundays on CBS. The second half of this cliffhanger will air on March 12.

Cast:

Guest starring Ophelia Lovibond as Kitty Winter, Regina Taylor as Dr. Wilkinson and  Michael Patrick Thornton as Eli Kotite. 

SNL: Octavia Spencer, Forrest “Jeff Sessions” Gump – On Fire (Review)

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SNL has been rather “up and down” of late, with more shows missing than hitting, but last night’s 15th episode of the 42nd season was on fire. Guest host Octavia Spencer rocked it in her monologue and also appeared in what may be the best topical cold open in SNL history.

Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions a’la Forrest Gump had the MVP SNL player knocking it out of the ballpark as “he” slowly confessed to a number of naughty acts. Michael Beck appeared in a “Putin cameo” and the two fist bumped before Spencer showed up as her character from The Help.

As “Minny” from the 2011 film, Spencer offers Forrest Sessions her special pie, the one she serves Hilly Holbrook in that film. (In a splendid bit of fourth wall breakage, “Minny” admits that she is from “another film.” Sessions/Gump asks, “Is this what I think it is?”

Minny replies in the affirmative and with a huge grin, Sessions declares this to be his favorite pie before taking a huge bite. Teeth streaked with “chocolate” McKinnon then makes the “live from New York” announcement. This was classic SNL served up fresh and hot and while Alec Baldwin was absent from the proceedings, Lorne Michaels and his crew of merry men and women socked it to the current cabinet with gusto.

Later in the episode the “Weekend Update” roasted the Trump brothers thoroughly. Eric and “Donnie Junior” were both mocked brilliantly during a “Colin” segment and once again, SNL was on top form.

To be honest, the “Update” segment was also on fire this week with several on point gags and Vanessa Bayer came back  as Laura Parsons. The precocious “youngster” covered the Oscar ceremony and, as usual, Bayer killed it as the outspoken and slightly naughty kid newscaster.

Father John Misty (aka Joshua Michael Tillman) provided some eclectic musical moments where he sang about Taylor Swift and Oculus Rift in the same song, and lyric, and broached things ecclesiastical in his second song.

Eclectic also describes the “Chuckie the Chocolate Man”  skit where Bayer and Bobby Moynihan had difficulty keeping straight faces while Michael Beck played a sort of post meltdown postal worker type banned from the office.

His character brought in a gun, before the sketch began, and threatened all his co-workers. It was an odd bit of business where “Chuckie” appears to be overly influenced by Pee Wee Herman and Willy Wonka.

The episode ended on a somewhat lame note with Octavia sporting glasses with “lizard eyes” as the president of “Spencer Gifts” who fires all her employees bar one and then goes on vacation.

Despite the one rather humdrum sketch, this particular episode burned with an old intensity seldom seen on SNL these days. Michaels crew managed to hit new heights with the collective scorn bestowed on the new cabinet.

New player Melissa Villaseñor proved once again that she is a dab hand at impressions, although guest host Octavia did a superb job with her Oprah Winfrey and Alex Moffat did an impressive job with his “Hugh Grant.” The segment, which was about a rip off of Zoo-topia, really showcased Melissa rather than Spencer but it was a funny sketch regardless.

The pre-recorded “TBD” republican trailer was amusing but the joke wore off about mid-way through the segment.

Despite the high quality of the Trump skewering that went on in this episode, it was neophyte Octavia Spencer who impressed mightily with her first guest hosting gig.  She was allowed to do her monologue alone; without the requisite add-ons of SNL players who usually accompany the “noobie” host.

Spencer was funny, on point and did so well that she will surely be invited back. We leave you with her monologue:

Lethal Weapon: As Good As It Getz – Leo (Review)

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Perhaps the biggest complaint about Lethal Weapon and “As Good As It Getz” is that they changed Leo’s occupation from CPA (certified public accountant) to a variation of Saul Goodman “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad.” Needless to say, it changed the flavour of the comedic interchange and while this Leo is still nebbish, he was not “Leo Getz.”

“Okay. Okay. They always f**k you at the drive-in…”

The episode was not just about Leo and his brush with death from a cartel eager to kill Karen Palmer (Riggs’ “sort of” romantic attachment) it was also about Palmer and Riggs (natch) and the Murtaugh family’s latest issue.

Trish quits her job at the law firm when, after being led to believe otherwise, someone else gets the promotion she thought was hers. Feeling under appreciated and undervalued, she leaves.

Roger is less than pleased at this development and it causes some friction. Not the same sort of friction that builds up between Karen Palmer, the grim and unflappable DEA agent and Martin Riggs. Their chemistry could have resulted in a lot of heat had Riggs done more than put on a new shirt.

Granted, the two make an excellent pair; each one with a separate agenda. Palmer finally noticing what Riggs has to offer and his sudden awareness of her kept things interesting and resulted in one of the best lines in the series thus far.

After leaping out of a crashing helicopter, both Palmer and Riggs fall through roof and land in a king, or queen, sized bed. As the two lay in the falling dust and rubble, Karen looks at Riggs and says:

“Well, I always figured you’d end up in bed with me.”

This after a great sequence that shows both the DEA agent and the homicide detective are on the same page. “Um, I’ve got a plan,” shouts Riggs. “No, I’ve got a plan,” Karen shouts back. Then in unison both reveal that they have the same plan, “We jump.”

Riggs is delighted. Moments later, the pair dive out of the falling chopper as Roger and Leo watch, mouths agape, at the crashing bird and the couple as they crash through the derelict hotel roof.

Just brilliant.

Despite the career change for Leo Getz (and it has to be said, major points off for lack of originality here chaps) and that Karen Palmer has taken the place of Lorna Cole (played by Rene Russo in the films) as a possible romantic interest for the grieving cop, this was a cracking episode.

There was machine-gun toting, and firing, villains, some comedy from Leo Getz, great interaction between Palmer and Riggs and Roger got to show Trish just how much he really supports his wife.

At the start Leo finalizes his deal with the DEA for his client and heads to the men’s room. The donut shop where they meet (he just arranged to have an amount of crullers as part payment) is suddenly filled with automatic weapon fire and the snitch, along with the DEA agent are shot to rag doll ribbons.

Leo escapes with his life, and his briefcase, and is later hunted down by Riggs, Murtaugh and Palmer. Throughout the episode the presumption is that the cartel want Getz dead. They do, in fact, take a few shots at him but it turns out that they are really after Palmer. She should have been at the donut shop meeting at the start of the episode.

The episode ends on a “Better Call Saul” type gag where Leo has put Trish’s image on his bus advertisement and neither she nor Roger are pleased about it.

Clearly Palmer is going to be a running storyline here. This is the second, or third time the DEA agent has shown up on the series. She and Riggs are “cute” together and it was touching how he suddenly regressed emotionally and hid rather than talking to his new “interest” before she left.

Roger congratulates his partner on being sane for once, compared to his usual modus operandi.

FOX and show creator Matthew Miller are killing it with this series. The small screen version of Lethal Weapon feels cinematic in its execution and look. The chemistry is spot on between all the players and this is one that should run and run and run. 

The only complaint was the move to make Leo Getz a lawyer, keeping outside the legal arena would have left that Saul Goodman vibe where it belongs; over on AMC.

Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays on FOX.

Cast:

Guest starring Thomas Lennon as Leo Getz and Hilarie Burton as Karen Palmer

Timeless: Public Enemy No. 1 – The Hart of the Matter (Recap/Review)

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Timeless  “Public Enemy No. 1” is a gripping installment. Things have come to a head with Rittenhouse’s Rottweiler; Agent Neville, who cracks down on the remaining Mason employees. He orders Lucy and Rufus to take a new soldier back in time to murder Flynn’s mother.

The pair refuse and both Mason and Neville threaten the two with prison. They agree to go on the mission. The new guy is shot with a tranquilizer dart and they stop to pick up Wyatt Logan. Their first mission is to save Lucy’s sister.

This plan is scuppered when they learn that Flynn has gone back to 1931 Chicago.  Flynn keeps Al Capone from going to prison and arranges for Elliot Ness to die in his “hidden” apartment. In return, Capone sets up a meeting with Rittenhouse member Mayor Thompson.

After beating the next big Rittenhouse meeting date out of the mayor, Flynn asks Capone to kill Rufus, when he shows up. Later, Capone tries very hard to do just that.

Preston, Logan and Carlin have to hunt down Capone’s brother, a G-man who changed his name, Richard Hart. They talk Hart into confronting his brother and arresting him.

All goes well until Al pulls a gun to shoot Rufus. A short standoff keeps things tense until Capone shoots at the time-ship’s pilot and wounds him. Richard shoots Al and Logan shoots a henchman.

Back in the present, Jiya, who was slipped a burner phone by her boyfriend Rufus, gets into trouble twice. The first time just by the benefit of dating Carlin and the second by shutting Mason’s systems down again.

Previews of the next episode (the season finale) shows Lucy finally agreeing to help Flynn, as he told Preston she does in the pilot episode. He does allude to her coming over to his side repeatedly and now his prediction has come true.

While things have moved forward rapidly plot wise – Agent Christopher is now working with the trio to take back the program from Rittenhouse and Mason – Rufus’s life is in danger, he does get shot by Capone, and time seems to be tuning out for Lucy in terms of getting her sister back.

There was one big boo-boo in the climatic scene in Al Capone’s office, however, that really threw everything out of whack. A continuity mistake, or editing slip-up that yanked us right out of the story.

Thankfully it was not a major character who messed up, but a peripheral one. Capone’s bodyguard, the big chap to the left of the group, pulls two pistols from his holsters…twice.

The second the guns come out, Al’s, Richard’s and Wyatt’s so too do the bodyguard’s. As things heat up and Al takes his shot at Rufus, Wyatt moves to protect the pilot and Hart shoots his brother dead. The bodyguard who already had his pistols out and ready to shoot does not.

The reason?

He apparently holstered them again. The act of drawing his guns a second time allowed Wyatt the chance to shoot him dead.

Oops.

Neither Nicole Baer (who edited this episode) nor director Guy Ferland caught this one and it is a shame as it takes the punch right out of Rufus’ near death experience.

Regardless of this mess up, the episode ends with Rufus collapsing, after muttering “tell Jiya…” with the time machine still whirring but not jumping. A good cliffhanger moment that leaves us wondering if Rufus will make it to another jump.

Timeless airs Mondays on NBC. Tune in for the season finale and see if Carlin lives or dies.

Cast:

Guest starring Jim Beaver as Agent Neville, Mather Zickel as Richard Hart/Jimmy Capone, Misha Collins  as Elliot Ness, Cameron Gharaee as Al Capone and Richard Portnow as Mayor William Hale Thompson.

Rosewood: Clavicle Trauma & Closure – Feels Great (Review)

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Rosewood “Clavicle Trauma & Closure” finishes the story of the treacherous con artist Tawnya and continues the concerns about Rosie’s health. An entrepreneur ends up dead after some investors back out and his demise looks like a suicide. Rosie and his team take a closer look at the body after Tawnya shows up pleading with the man she took to the cleaners to prove her innocence.

Rosie takes the case on but only after getting Joo Joo to fit his thieving ex with an ankle bracelet that will track her every move.  Donna Rosewood is not pleased and later removes Larson’s corpse to the EMPD.

In actuality no one is pleased with Rosie’s mission to clear Tawnya of murder, even though he does have an ulterior motive. In the meantime, Villa and Adrian go through a rocky patch when the pathologist for the EMPD gets a mysterious text.

Toward the end of the episode Villa learns that Adrian’s mother has Alzheimer’s and it has gotten worse. Initially, however, Annalise finds out that Adrian has applied to resign from the EMPD. Things work out for the couple though and it is smiles all around for the pair.

Rosie and Adrian work out how the entrepreneur was murdered and by who.  Team Rosie pull out the stops of lift prints from a silk bathrobe belt, the murder weapon, and Villa, along with Rosie, arrest the “hanger-on” and later bring in his accomplice, the killer’s sister.

This murder case was back on par with the older Rosewood mysteries. The killer was not obvious from the start and the episode managed to bring some closure to everyone. Rosie faces the woman who broke his heart and cleaned out his bank account.

His final line to Tawnya (that watching her take the fall for her crime was great) was spot on. The pathologist with the big billboard advertisement was put through the wringer, as well as having all his money stolen, and our heart went out to him.

Captain Slade and Ira Hornstock were missing this week but it was confirmed that TMI and Pippy are now back together. While this may be temporary it was still nice to see and these two made a great couple.

It is also interesting to see  Adrian once again step up and help out Annalise’s partner. Donna Rosewood confronting her son about the dialysis was moving.

This storyline seems to be moving toward a slowing down of Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr. Will the health issues be an excuse to wind things down? The series has been moved from its Thursday airing to Friday.

Rosewood is now the lead-in to Sleepy Hollow and could have been moved to bolster the latter show’s ratings. Although Rosewood itself has been a bit of a let down this season. This latest offering however seems to be a move in the right direction.

Cast:

Guest starring Kamal Angelo Bolden as Julius “Joo Joo” Zeeman, Phillip Rhys as Raymond Larson, Eric Ladin as Ivan Keller, Chen Tang as Bradley Morgan and Cameron Kelly as Sarah Anders.